A day after Ralph Yarl returned home from the hospital after being shot last week in Kansas City, Missouri, hundreds of Staley High School students and staff participated in a unity walk to offer support.
Yarl, a Black 16-year-old, was shot twice by a White homeowner on April 13 after he mistakenly went to the wrong home to pick up his two younger brothers.
"I was out here to support my friend Ralph through this time he is going through today," said Maddox, Ralph's friend and junior at Staley, after the unity walk Tuesday morning.
Maddox said he wasn't surprised by the volume of students and staff who walked in support of Yarl because everyone is "willing to support a friend at our school."
Yarl's classmates chanted, "We love you, Ralph," and "Justice for Ralph," as they walked in a circle around their school's campus to show support. Approximately 1,500 students were present for the walk, which is the majority of the Staley student body, according to a school official.
Eliana, a junior who has played music with Yarl since they were in the sixth grade, said her favorite thing about Yarl is how knowledgeable he is, especially when it comes to music.
"I love getting to talk to him about the clarinet, about reeds and music in general," she said.
Students wore blue, Yarl's favorite color, or Staley spirit wear, and displayed posters as they walked in support.
"We stand with you, we support you and know that we're going to be here for you," said Staley High School senior Cayla, who helped organize the unity walk.
Additional resources are available for students at Staley High School and other North Kansas City schools this week, according to NKC superintendent Dan Clemens.
This story was originally reported by Scripps News Kansas City.